Torbjörn rework and hero balance changes in latest Overwatch PTR update - full patch notes - Dexerto

Torbjörn rework and hero balance changes in latest Overwatch PTR update – full patch notes

Published: 22/Sep/2018 2:11 Updated: 8/Jan/2021 9:19

by Joe O'Brien


The latest update to the Overwatch PTR is a huge one, with some highly-anticipated changes finally arriving.

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By far the biggest change is the Torbjörn rework, a major overhaul to how one of the game’s most niche heroes plays.

Almost every aspect of Torbjörn’s kit has been adjusted or changed in some way, but the biggest change is to his ultimate, while is entirely new. Though it keeps the “Molten Core” name, the ultimate now deploys molten globules from Torbjörn’s claw arm, which create damage pools wherever they land.

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Torbjörn is also getting another new ability, “Overload”, replacing his Armor Pack. Overload temporarily grants armor, as well as attack, movement, and reload speed. His primary weapon and turrets are also being adjusted.

While easily the most significant, Torbjörn wasn’t the only hero to receive changes in this patch, with Pharah also getting some major balance changes. The main adjustment comes for her primary weapon, which will now fire faster but rewards direct hits more than before while nerfing splash damage slightly.

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In addition, Brigitte, McCree, Orisa, and Soldier: 76 all received more minor balance adjustments, while Mei got a visual effects update for her abilities.


The full patch notes can be read below:


Colorblind Options Updates

Customize how team colors are displayed in your UI (e.g. nameplates, HUD, health bars) and hero outlines with a set of nine different colorblind-friendly colors to choose from. You choose to colorize enemy and friendly UI separately as well. These options can be found under Options > Video > Color Blind Options. All changes made will be saved and ready for you to see in the next match you play!



  • Updated visuals for all shields and barriers to increase readability


  • Barrier Shield
    • Shield health reduced from 600 to 500

Developer Comments: The health of Brigitte’s barrier was extremely difficult for most heroes to deal with even as she was able to close the distance with her targets. This change still provides Brigitte with substantial survivability but should also be more rewarding for opponents who pressure her.



  • Combat Roll
    • Cooldown reduced from 8 to 6 seconds

Developer Comments: Previously, the cooldown of McCree’s Combat Roll felt too restrictive, which sometimes prohibited players from using it. The new, faster cooldown should allow for more flexibility when choosing between using it for mobility or an instant reload.


  • Concussive Blast
    • Cooldown reduced from 12 to 9 seconds
  • Rocket Launcher
  • Attack speed increased
    • Lowered recovery between shots from 0.9 to 0.75
  • Damage redistributed between explosion and impact
    • Explosion damage reduced from 80 to 65
    • Impact damage increased from 40 to 55
  • Explosion knockback reduced by 20%
  • Self-knockback range increased by 25%

Developer Comments: We wanted to increase how responsive Pharah’s Rocket Launcher felt. Having almost a full second of recovery between shots made it feel sluggish. To balance out the improved recovery time, we shifted some of the damage from the rocket’s explosion to the direct impact damage. The overall damage potential is now increased when landing direct hits and decreased slightly when only dealing explosive damage. We reduced the amount of knockback each explosion causes, as they made it very difficult to aim at Pharah while rockets came in at a faster pace. The Concussive Blast cooldown reduction should allow the ability to sync up more closely with the Jump Jet cooldown when used for mobility.



  • General
    • Updated visual effects for all abilities


  • Fusion Driver
    • Maximum spread reduced from 1.5 to 1.2

Developer Comments: Orisa spends a significant amount of time firing her Fusion Driver from a relatively stationary location and the weapon’s spread value caused it to feel too random when leading targets at a distance, taking into account the projectiles’ travel time. We’ve tightened the spread slightly, which should leave her close- and mid-range damage potential largely unchanged, while making it feel better to try to hit targets at longer ranges.

Soldier: 76

  • Heavy Pulse Rifle
    • Number of shots until max spread increased from 6 to 9

Developer Comments: Soldier: 76’s damage output was a bit low but not too far off from where we feel it should be. Making it take a few more shots to reach max spread smooths out the weapon spread curve and should help his damage be more consistent.



  • General
    • Reduced the size of Torbjörn’s head hit volume by 10%
  • Rivet Gun
    • Primary Fire
      • Projectile speed increased from 60 to 70 per second
      • Reload time reduced from 2.2 to 2 seconds
      • Turret targets enemy hit by primary fire
    • Alternate Fire
      • Recovery lowered from 0.8 to 0.6 seconds
      • Damage per shot lowered from 150 to 125
      • Reload time reduced from 2.2 to 2 seconds
      • Spread randomization readjusted
    • Forge Hammer
      • Radius increased to align with Quick Melee
    • Deploy Turret
      • Now a thrown projectile
      • Automatically builds over three seconds
        • No longer has different levels
        • Same damage output as previous level 2 turret
      • Maximum health reduced from 300 to 250
      • Now incurs a 5 second cooldown when deployed
      • Now incurs a 10 second cooldown when destroyed in combat
      • No longer able to deploy a new turret if it’s in combat
        • While the turret is firing
        • If the turret has taken damage within three seconds
      • Now able to destroy turret using the Interact input
      • Now will complete self-building once deployed, even if Torbjörn is eliminated
    • New Ability: Overload
      • Replaces Armor Pack
      • Lasts for 5 seconds (12 second cooldown)
      • Temporarily grants 150 armor
      • Increases attack, movement, and reload speed by 30%
    • New Ultimate: Molten Core
      • Switches weapon from Rivet Gun to his claw arm
      • Lasts 6 seconds
      • Fire up to 10 molten globules that create damage pools where they land for 10 seconds
        • Bounces off walls and ceilings until coming into contact with the ground
      • Base damage is 130
      • Damage increases from 130 to 190 against enemies who have armor
        • Heroes affected by armor: Bastion, Brigitte, D.Va, Orisa, Reinhardt, Torbjörn, Winston, Wrecking Ball
        • Heroes who can grant armor to their allies: Brigitte

Developer Comments: Torbjörn was initially designed to be a specialized hero, intended to be a strong defensive option due to his armor-generating capabilities and ability to control areas with his turret. However, the scrap collecting and Armor Pack mechanics have proven to cause problematic gameplay issues through their feast or famine nature. In order to make the hero more flexible in a wide variety of situations, we’ve removed the scrap system, made the turret much easier to deploy, replaced the Armor Pack ability with Overload—a powerful self-buff—and transformed Molten Core into a powerful new area denial ultimate ability.

Learn more here.



  • Reduced the setup timer for Assault, Escort, and Assault/Escort maps from 1 minute to 45 seconds




  • Fixed a bug that caused the roll bar on Bastion’s Dune Buggy skin to obscure its view when backing up or firing in Tank configuration


  • Fixed a bug that prevented some glow visual effects from appearing on D.Va’s Nano Cola skin
  • Fixed a bug that prevented D.Va from fully appearing when viewing her MEKA Activated highlight intro in the Hero Gallery


  • Fixed a bug that caused Hanzo’s Storm Bow reticle to be visible while emoting


  • Fixed a bug that prevented Mei’s Blizzard from freezing enemies when cast in areas with low ceilings


  • Fixed a bug that caused the player’s reticle to pitch up after using Earthshatter
  • Fixed a bug that caused Reinhardt’s Earthshatter animations to play if used while he was juggled in the air by knockback abilities


  • Fixed an issue that caused Sombra to change the direction she was facing when using her Translocator to teleport


  • Fixed a bug that caused Symmetra to have a chance of playing inaccurate voice lines when placing turrets


  • Fixed a bug that prevented Torbjörn’s medal from appearing in his Medal victory pose


  • Fixed a bug that caused Zarya’s Particle Cannon reticle to be visible while emoting



  • Fixed a bug that allowed players to stand on some prohibited rooftops in Downtown
  • Fixed a bug that prevented sprays from displaying on glass windows in MEKA Base

Volskaya Industries

  • Fixed a bug that allowed players to stand on some prohibited rooftops in Downtown
  • Fixed a bug that prevented sprays from displaying on glass windows in MEKA Base

Game Browser and Custom Games


  • Fixed a bug that prevented the “your team has lost” or “your team has taken the lead” voice lines from playing when the score swap happens due to self-inflicted deaths


  • Fixed a bug that prevented players from receiving an “unable to join” error message if they attempted to spectate a Player vs AI match when all spectator slots were full